How to Deliver High End Marketing Solutions for Exclusive Listings in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

The quality and focus of your marketing campaigns in commercial real estate will attract volumes of clients and prospects over time, providing you build quality and target marketing into your promotional processes.  Build your brand through your current marketing processes with all of your listings.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

So the rule here is typically that ‘a quality focus in promotional activity generally attracts quality new business in local property’.  The best clients and investors locally like to work with the agents that have a market domination of the location and the property type.

Compare the competitors

Compare your marketing solutions to those used by your competitors:

  • Can you claim to be more relevant and real as an agent in your property activities?
  • Do your advertising efforts stand out as the best for the property type or the location?
  • Will people remember you at the right time?

Review and research your market position when it comes to your brokerage and your personal profile.  Examine where you are now in the order and ranking of local agents.  Drive a better profile.

Here are some ideas to help you stand out as a ‘go to agent’ for your location:

  1. Property and target market match – Always match your property to a target market before the campaign of promotion commences. Help the client understand the target market that you are chasing and why that is the case.
  2. Local area coverage and regional coverage – When you promote your listings, devote different strategies to the local area, versus the broader region. Vendor paid marketing funds should allow you to specialize your property coverage and penetration.
  3. Online marketing versus traditional marketing – You will need to mix and match your marketing to the online and offline media outlets and channels. Think about everything from the traditional signboard through to website coverage, and the industry portals.  Your exclusive listings should get special attention in that process.  Use the email marketing system as well as the more traditional approaches to listing distribution.
  4. Brochures and photographs – Some people like to review the local papers and or get a brochure in the mail, so photos and brochures are valuable in property marketing. Use them in directly marketing the listings that you have.  The direct marketing process has merit as long as you are taking the time to follow through with telephone calls and direct contact.  If you have spent the money in mail outs, then make the calls to see what others think of the listing and the brochure.
  5. Editorials – When you have a good quality listing coming to the market, get an editorial ready for release, and promote that editorial to the local papers and media outlets. If the property has a good history or local relevance, an editorial is a good strategy to use promotionally.
  6. Database – Use your database in your client and prospect discussions. Create a shortlist of people from your database to inspect a property as soon as it is released to the market for sale or lease.  It is hard for a client to overlook a relevant database of local contact.
  7. Feedback – Seek comments from the people that you take to your listed properties and hold inspections with. Allow their comments to shape your clients thinking and their perceptions of the property as it is being marketed.  This is called ‘third party conditioning’ and it is a valuable strategy in shaping a property for better listing and or negotiation outcomes.
  8. Reset and refresh your listing advertisements – Don’t let an advert for property remain unchanged for too long. Refresh your listing stock promotions with different promotional copy and feature points every 3 weeks or so.

These simple and yet direct strategies are valuable in delivering high quality property promotions.  They allow ‘high end’ coverage, and will attract better levels of inquiry.  Refine and revisit all of your commercial property promotions accordingly, with a real bias towards your exclusively listed assets.

Getting Better Marketing Results for Commercial Real Estate Clients

To a large degree, the marketing results that you get today in promoting commercial real estate will help you with negotiations and client conditioning.  The property market is forever changing.

Seasonal inquiry will reflect in both the time on market for the listing, and pricing strategies.  The impact of seasonal marketing should also help you with the correct decisions when it comes to the method of sale.

In receiving the inquiry from your marketing campaign, you will soon know whether you are achieving the necessary volume of inquiry and the type of inquiry.  Don’t let a marketing campaign continue for too long without appropriate assessment and marketing or media changes.

You only have a short period of time where you can generate the necessary inbound inquiries to achieve inspections.  Here are some further thoughts when it comes to assessing the campaign for your quality listing:

  • If the volume of inquiry is too low, it will be necessary to recommend modifying and increasing the marketing package to capture more people.
  • If the type of inquiry is incorrect as to its demographics, you will need to adjust the marketing so that it reaches the right people more successfully.

At the end of the first week of the campaign, you should have seen significant results and obtained buyer feedback which will allow you to understand if you are reaching your marketing objectives and targets.  Depending upon the outcome from inquiries, you will make the adjustments as mentioned earlier.

It is important not to allow the marketing campaign to proceed without monitoring and without adjustment.  In most cases, the optimized promotion of a property will be for a period of six to eight weeks at the very start of the campaign.  Beyond that time the property listing will soon become stale and unattractive.  If the property has not sold during that initial promotional period, it is better practice to remove the property from public promotion for one or two months and then start again using a different strategy or method of sale.

It is standard practice with commercial property to seek vendor paid advertising with any quality listing.  This then gives the agent some guarantee that the client is serious about selling the property; it also helps the agent when it comes to controlling inquiry, creating inspections, and negotiating directly with the client.

It is essential to seek payment from the client for the advertising campaign prior to its commencement.  Many a client has delayed or avoided payment at a later time when it comes to marketing funds.  Don’t start to advertise until such time as the promotional money has been paid by the client and is held in the bank account.

As a basic strategy, keep in contact with the client on almost a daily basis from the start of the campaign to keep them fully appraised of promotional activity.

Advertising and Marketing Plans that Work Well in Commercial Real Estate Agency

There are two types of marketing plans in commercial real estate.  There is the one that applies to ‘open listings’, and then there is the one that applies to ‘exclusive listings’.  There is a radical difference between the two.

An ‘open listing’ is a process of luck, so get away from listing in this way whenever you can.  You have no control over your client, the property, or the parties to the deal.  I would go so far as to say that you cannot trust a client in an open listing situation; they are likely to be talking to other agents constantly and comparing your offers or inspection results.  If you want to dominate your market as an agent, get away from ‘open’ listings as soon as you can.

Only an exclusive listing process will give you the best solution for promoting and marketing a quality commercial, industrial or retail property.  The time and effort required in matching a property to its target market requires the commitment of the client to one agent for a reasonable period of time; usually 4 months.  The selected agent can then dedicate the right focus into finding the best people to talk to and setting the momentum to inspections and offers.

Here are some marketing tips to help you in establishing a quality promotional campaign with an exclusive listing:

  1. From the full inspection of the property you will understand the best target market that you should be tapping into with the marketing.  Give the client a complete understanding of what that market is looking for and how you can work with that.
  2. Determine the features of the property that can help you with the momentum in promotion.  Build a story and a pitch for all your advertising using the property features.  Select the 5 property features that are of the greatest interest to the target market.  Use those as dot points in all you advertising.  When you change from advert to advert in different publications, create different messages.  This is most important on the internet so the search engines give your advert broader appeal.
  3. Use keywords for your advertising based on the internet search terms.  You can get this information from a ‘keyword’ search on the major search engines.
  4. Build a headline and sub headline for the property using words that sell.  You can see good examples of that with magazines and other property adverts.  The history of the property may be relevant to the local area and on that basis can be used in the marketing to real effect.
  5. Match your marketing recommendations to the target market so the client can really see that you understand how to solve their property problem.  Be very specific at a personal level to help the client see how you will take the property to the market.
  6. Always give your client 3 alternatives of marketing so they have a set of promotional choices to consider.

Successful marketing campaigns in commercial real estate agency are built from specific focus and speciality.  The ‘generic’ promotional process in property today does not work.